Homegrown talent on NHL rosters

By Holly Gunning






Team

Many NHL general managers have noted that under
the new CBA, drafting and player development have become more important.
How are teams currently doing in growing their own players?

The first table below shows each of the NHL teams
from highest percentage of drafted and homegrown talent to lowest, in terms of
their opening night roster for 2005-06.
Homegrown
players are defined as drafted players, plus those who were not drafted, but
made their NHL debuts with the team.

Hockey’s Future
makes no value judgment on the best percentage of homegrown players. A low
percentage could indicate poor drafting and player development, but on the other
hand, a high percentage could indicate an inflexibility, and a tendency to hold
onto players too long. And in fact, there seems to be very little
correlation to the percentage of homegrown talent and the early
standings.

The San Jose Sharks have the highest percentage
of both drafted and homegrown players, while the Phoenix Coyotes lag both
categories.

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Non-expansion teams% of opening
roster players self-drafted
% of opening
roster players ‘homegrown’
San Jose67%71%
Ottawa61%65%
Montreal46%58%
Chicago48%52%
Edmonton40%52%
Detroit50%50%
Buffalo50%50%
Pittsburgh50%50%
New Jersey43%48%
Boston39%48%
Colorado43%43%
St. Louis35%43%
NY Islanders36%41%
Philadelphia36%40%
Dallas39%39%
Washington33%38%
Los Angeles38%38%
Vancouver36%36%
Florida30%35%
Anaheim26%35%
Toronto30%35%
NY Rangers29%33%
Carolina30%30%
Tampa Bay25%25%
Calgary22%22%
Phoenix15%15%

The four latest expansion teams are listed
separately, since they have not had as many draft cycles as other teams.
Nashville’s earliest draftees, the 1998 class, are still only 25 years of
age.

Expansion teams% of opening
roster players self-drafted
% of opening
roster players ‘homegrown’
Minnesota36%40%
Columbus30%35%
Nashville29%33%
Atlanta21%25%

The average amount of homegrown talent is 42 percent for non-expansion teams, and 33 percent for the most recent expansion franchises. Note that players like Peter Forsberg who were
originally drafted by a team, played elsewhere, then returned, are counted
equally in the drafted column. The low number of such players should not
interfere with the general results. Edmonton showed the biggest difference
between drafted and homegrown players, having provided five undrafted players
their NHL debut.
Almost seven percent of the
players (48) on NHL opening night rosters were never drafted. Five of
those 48 were goaltenders.

League-wide

Naturally, astute trading and player acquisition
are as much a part of the process of building a contender as drafting. To
isolate the drafting prowess of teams over the long haul, we break down the
number of players in the league as a whole that each team originally
selected. New Jersey leads, with 36 former draft picks on opening night
rosters league-wide,
while Tampa Bay drafted
the fewest among non-expansion teams, with just 12 players.

Non-expansion teamsNo. drafted in
league (all)
No. drafted in
league (skaters)
No. drafted in
league (goalies)
New Jersey36315
Montreal33303
Colorado33258
San Jose31283
NY Islanders30273
Buffalo27243
NY Rangers27243
Boston26233
Los Angeles26260
Pittsburgh25232
Calgary25250
Ottawa24222
Philadelphia24204
Carolina24213
Detroit22202
Edmonton22211
Washington21201
Phoenix20173
Dallas20191
St. Louis20191
Toronto20191
Florida19172
Anaheim19172
Chicago18162
Vancouver18180
Tampa Bay12120

The Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise
drafted an astounding total of eight goaltenders listed on NHL rosters on
opening night. They include David Aebisher, Peter Budaj, Marc Denis, Manny
Fernandez, Brent Johnson, Phil Sauve, Garth Snow, and Jocelyn Thibault.
Four non-expansion franchises do not have any goaltending picks in the league:
Vancouver, Los Angeles, Calgary, and Tampa Bay.

The former expansion teams show a very similar
number of players in the league, with the oldest team, Nashville, leading by one
with 11.

Expansion teamsNo. drafted in
league (all)
No. drafted in
league (skaters)
No. drafted in
league (goalies)
Nashville11110
Atlanta1091
Minnesota990
Columbus871

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